Silver 2017 Toyota Prius
Peter Neilson's picture

Make Your Toyota Prius A Top Quality Generator With This Neat Add On

Thinking about turning your Prius into a generator for camping or emergencies? It is easier than you think with this tool.
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The wild weather we have faced recently had me thinking. What if I had been without power for days on end? I began to search around and see what options are out there if I were to have an emergency. Here is what I found.

Plug-Out Power, The Better Generator For All
I came across a pretty neat tool that takes your Prius and turns it into an ultra-efficient generator. The unit that plug-out power offers can come in two variations offering to give you 3kW or 5kW of pure sine wave power.

Plug out power generator

That means you can run your refrigerator, fans, and heaters (should you need to) and let your Prius do the heavy lifting. The little unit is quite impressive and interfaces right into your Prius with a few minor modifications.

What I Like About It, And What I Do Not
I think that plug-out power has a way fabulous unit. I know I have not gone very deep into what all it can provide, but I believe that you should read that for yourself.

It does provide a pure sine wave and does not "power surge" when loaded. You will also have a generator that operates at least 30% more efficiently due to the Prius' Atkinson cycle. It is also quieter and has a lot more features.

What I do not like about it. There are not many things I dislike about this unit, and honestly, these have to be taken with a grain of salt.

The unit is huge. It takes up nearly the entire hatch portion of the Prius. If you plan on pulling a small trailer or tent camping, this is a great unit to have tag along.

The price is another thing I am not wild about, but it depends on how you look at it. If you were without power to your house and needed help, this would be priceless. If you were going to a block party and needed to hook up many blenders to make drinks, this would be worth it.

Conclusion
I suggest taking a look at plug-out power and seeing what it can do for you. Remember, this is a high-powered generator that works with your car. I would also suggest comparing it to standalone generators of the same KW rating and see what it costs to maintain and buy one of them.

Do you own a plug-out power unit? Let me know how you like it. Drop me a line on Twitter. Until next time, I hope all is well.

To see more about them check out their website here. Pricing will also be listed.

Do you own a Prius, it could be worth a premium by summertime.

Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


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Comments

Can this be used on the RAV4 hybrid also?
Yes it will work with the RAV4 the website is plugoutpower.com be aware that you have to pay someone to install the high voltage plug. Look for a shop that specializes in Prius repair that isn’t a dealer. Before you buy this system figure out how much power you would need in an emergency. If you have electric heat (live in the south) you can not run that system from this. You’ll have to use an electric space heaters and shelter in a small room. I think a space heater on high can use 12.5A or 1500w. If all you are worried about is a fridge, space heater, and a TV/PC you should be fine with a pure sine wave 12 Inverter that is 2500w those cost a lot less and can be installed by anyone. Your car can support around 1500w continuous. When you go over 1500 watts the 12V battery will go down and when you go under it will go back up. You are probably thinking… well that’s not enough but in my experience living in the Midwest on a cold day a space heater on medium will keep a small room nice and toasty. Your refrigerator only runs periodically and a small TV or PC use a few hundred watts. You just need to make sure the inverter you buy can run everything at the same time. Like I said if it’s all on at the same time and exceeds the amount of 12V your car can create then you’ll slowly drain the 12V battery. I personally have 3 deep cycle 12V batteries as a buffer. This gives me plenty of time. My inverter cost $600 and does 4000w continuous 8000 peak. I mounted it all to a small dolly I lay the seats back and get someone to help lift the dolly into the car and then hook it up. If you don’t think you need the extra batteries then you don’t need a dolly. Tons of people do it the way I do it. It costs less and you don’t need an EV specialist to install anything.
$3000 is a lotta cash! Too much.
Right now the 5kva version is $2600 plus say $400 to install that box (2HR job). Compared to a Honda generator the can do 5000w continuously it’s not a bad deal. The Honda costs $2500. During a multi day power outage you are looking at adding fuel 3x a day and burning more than 13 gallons of fuel a day. With a hybrid you do not burn fuel while idle (engine shuts off) the engine runs at full volumetric efficiency and if you have a plug in hybrid the engine won’t even start for 6-24 HRs maybe more. My i3 REx lasted 2 days before the engine turned on but it has a very large battery and I was only pulling 1000-2000 watts at any given time. All that said if your average needs are below 1500 watts then you don’t need this system. You can buy a 2000-4000w inverter and wire it to your 12V battery. Anytime you go above the ability of your vehicle DC-DC converter you will draw from the 12V battery anytime you are below your DC-DC ability your 12V will charge. Most DC-DC are 1400-2000 watts usually 1500-1800w But if you need 5kw then no generator can compare to it. It’s safer, quieter, more reliable, easier to move, holds more fuel, is 2-10x more efficient, and has some battery storage if it’s plugged in. This systems cost reflects s situation where it costs much more than the sum of its parts. They are offering a nearly turn key solution. If you know what you are doing you can do this on a $1000 budget. But you wouldn’t have that neat little safe disconnect box!
Can I use this with a BMW M3?
The product link in this article goes to a Tesla story, not the plug out power product
What a USELESS article! You never mentioned what it actually costs, nor did you provide a link to where one might purchase it.
Disappointed by the lack of information: what DOES it cost, how does it hook up, will it work with other Toyota hybrids?
Nice story. Just missing any real info on the product discussed.
The link to the power in / out box is not 8n the article. It merely points to powerproject.com, which upon looking at all the options to upgrade the Toyota hybrids to lithium has a cable and maintenance kit.. kindly send the link! It's about time somebody did this! Could have really used this 3 years ago!
Not that hard to find. Plugoutpower.com